The course started in a neighborhood on the west side of Springfield. We wove through the streets of suburban houses and then came down the first major hill to exit the neighborhood. This one will not be fun on our way back! We headed out to the major road heading west out of town. The police department had the roads blocked off from traffic (thank you, officers!). I'm sure we made many people late for church that morning. There were several people along the course cheering the all of us on and ringing bells.
|The photo taken by Alex. See that hill we just came down?|
We have to go back up on the way back!
We hit mile eight and headed back into town. We had never ran this far before and it was almost like my body sensed that. It seemed that all my little aches and pains started to speak up. My toes and the middle of my left foot seemed to be cramping a little. I felt something blister-like popping up on the right. I was feeling a little twinge of pain in the my lower back. I had the foot/toe aches before, but the back-thing was new. I kept on pushing through it. There's only two miles to go. That's an easy run!
About this time, another runner joined us, and we began talking about races. He had just done a marathon in Greece. That would be awesome! We discussed other things like Colorado and different places we had traveled. We talked about doing triathlons and what that was like. It was a welcome break from the monotony that we seemed to be in. It took our minds off the aches that were creeping in. After a short while, he said he had a little left in him and pulled ahead of us. Shortly thereafter, we hit the final mile marker.
Only one mile left. I could barely believe it. In about ten minutes, we'd be done. I knew there was one major hill left: the one that I noticed leaving the subdivision. We reached that hill and pushed ourselves to move forward. It wasn't as hard as I imagined earlier. I had a renewed energy knowing that we were so close to the finish. We got to the top of the hill--no more hills! It was getting closer, I could feel it. My feet were really starting to cramp. A supporter on the corner yells "Great job! Only two blocks left!". I don't know what happened, but hearing that there were only two blocks, I got even more energy and my pace picked up some more.
We turned the final corner, and I could see it. I could see the finish line! My pace picked up even more. I wanted to stop running so badly that I began to run as fast as I could with all that I had left. I ran across the finish with all the cheering supporters there and I was done!
It felt amazing to stop running and to know what we had just accomplished. I gave Shane a big hug. We did it! We noticed the frozen curls of hair hanging out from beneath his hat reminding us of just how cold it was that day. For as much as I am a wuss about the cold, the base layers of running clothes made a huge difference! I highly recommend spending the extra money on them because the cold was the least of my concerns that day.
|Shane and I with our friend Rick Snow who also ran that day. |
On a side note, Rick had a heart attack ten months earlier.
He is the poster child for heart attack recovery!!